If the first day was top heavy with the business end of radio, Day 2 was all about talent and content with the discussions led by some big names in radio and the music biz. Here are some highlights:
-Many music-based radio stations (especially in the US) are unprepared for news that breaks over the weekend thanks to voicetracking and automation. Best examples: the deaths of Amy Winehouse and Whitney Houston, two major stars who screwed everything up by dying on the weekend. Listeners who went to their radios for more information got nothing so they went online instead. Not good. Radio has to do something about this huge shortcoming.
-Out of all broadcasters using smart phones and apps, ESPN is among the best. They get it.
-People on the content side of radio profess a desire to play more new music. The bad news? PPM data makes them afraid to.
-The music industry still feels that radio is very important in breaking new hits and new artists.
-Much of radio is too inflexible when it comes to the strangest things. Steve Jones, EVP Programming at Newcap Radio: "One of the biggest brands in the world is Google and they f**k with their logo every day! Why are radio stations so worried about things like how their logo looks?" He has a point.
-What comes first: money or content? Bill Pasha, the president of Multibrand Media: “Facebook answered this question. By providing content people want, the money will come.”
-Larry King was one of the guests on the final talent panel. According to Larry, the secret of good radio is...there is no secret. Just be yourself and be honest. You'll have a better chance of your audience liking you.
-Another Larry King nugget: If you screw up on the air, immediately follow it up by giving a competitor's call letters. Must remember that.
-And one more from Larry: "The secret to Oprah is that whatever has happened to her guests has happened to her." Nice dig.
I'll admit to skipping out for a few sessions in the afternoon so I could have a burrito on Sunset and do some shopping at Amoeba Records. If you were at the conference and would like to add to this summary, please do.
For more quotes from the event, see Paul Goldsmith's Radio Redefined blog.
-Orlando, a morning host from Wild 94.1/Tampa, summed up why so many of us got into this business: "Radio is about fat guys and ugly guys getting laid."